While isometric exercises can increase strength and flexibility, these are not conventional exercises. Many of isometric exercises can be easily performed in the comfort of your home. Therefore, recognition of these exercises can help determine whether they are appropriate complementary exercises for your routine schedule.
What is isometric training?
In isometric exercises, muscle length does not change and joints do not move during the exercise. In other words, you can perform isometric exercises in a constant state and without any movement.
Benefits of Isometric Exercises
Isometric exercises can be easily performed without the need for sports equipment and have many benefits for human body. According to the report by Mayo Clinic, isometric exercises can increase stability and improve the strength of individuals with arthritis. In addition, it can be applied by those who have limited range of motion. According to a review published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2014, it was demonstrated that performing isometric exercises was associated with decreased resting blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, regular performing of isometric exercises can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Lower Body Exercises
Some of the examples of lower-body isometric exercises are wall sit and leg pull-down. Wall sit is performed by squatting while you place your back against a wall and bend your knees until they are bent at about a 90 degree angle. Legs should be parallel to the ground. You should hold this position until your legs are fatigued, which usually occurs after 10-30 seconds. You perform three sets of this exercise. Leg pull-down is also performed against a wall. In a standing position, bring up one your knees until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Lock your hands under your thigh and while you are bringing up your hands, push down with your hamstrings to create isometric resistance.
Upper Body Exercises
Exercises such as hand press and triceps wall push can help strengthen your upper body parts, including chest, biceps and triceps. To perform a hand press, you have to be in a standing or sitting position and interlock your fingers so that your hands are in prayer form. Both forearms should be parallel to the ground and away from each other. Press your palms to each other and contract the muscles of your chest, biceps and triceps for 10-30 seconds. You should perform three sets of this exercise. Triceps wall push-up is performed by standing against a wall while your back is straight and stretched and your arms are next to your body. Your palms should be on the wall, firmly pressuring the wall using arm muscles.
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Isometric exercises of plank and side plank can be performed to strengthen the abdominal muscles, such as oblique muscles. Plank exercises are performed in Swedish push-up position; however, you support your body with your elbows and forearm instead of your hands. During this exercise, you should hold your waist and legs straight and stay in the position for 30 seconds, repeated for three times. To perform oblique plank, you should turn to your side and support your body with one forearm and elbow. Keep the position for 30 seconds while your body is straight. Then, turn to the other side and hold for 30 seconds.